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    (File) Indian Border Security Force soldiers patrol at Champakgachh village, on the India-Bangladesh border, about 12 kilometers (7 miles) from Siliguri, India, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011

    Criminal Background Declaration Mandatory to Get Indian Visa

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    India’s Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi told the media that the initiative is based on complaints of serial child sexual abuse offenders managing to visit India and that she hopes that the step will certainly be a strong deterrent for perpetrators of such heinous crimes.

    In a bid to prevent people with a history of child sexual abuse from entering the country, the Indian government has decided to introduce a questionnaire for visa applicants and seek a declaration of their criminal history.

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    "It has now been decided that an appropriate questionnaire and a declaration will be incorporated in the visa application form which will have to be filled up by visa applicants", Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi told the media.

    Gandhi took to Twitter to thank her cabinet colleague Home Minister Rajnath Singh for considering and accepting her ministry's request on the issue.

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    "Lately, India has been projected as a safe haven for sex tourists and obvious victims in this syndicate has been the minor children. We hope that this initiative will certainly help create a resistance but it will have to be backed by other proactive steps like curbing the pornographic circulation and stalling the trafficking circuit in South Asia," Komal Ganpati of Jovita, an organization working in the field of child protection and care told Sputnik.

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    visa applications, sex offenders, child abuse, declaration, Indian Home Ministry, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Rajnath Singh, India
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